Charles Green, aeronaut, 1836
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Medal commemorating the balloon flight of Charles Green from London to Weilburg on 7 November 1836. Green's flight was made in the 'Royal Vauxhall' balloon (later known as the 'Nassau' balloon). This was the largest balloon of its time, standing 80 feet (244 m) high with a capacity of 70,000 cubic feet. It was also equipped with a huge winch-controlled guide rope to act as a height regulator - the first time such a device had been used. The flight covered a record distance of over 380 miles (611 km). Green eventually retired in 1852 after making more than 500 flights.